Discussions and hands-on activities attracted students to the auditorium of the Monte Ahuja College of Business Nov. 7 for an hour-long presentation about how to manage distractions in the work place.
Beta Alpha Psi, an international honor and service organization that focuses on students in career fields that deal with financial information, such as accounting, financial and information systems, hosted the event.
The organization brought in Clifton Larson Allen, the eighth largest accounting firm in the United States. The company also has a few offices in the Cleveland area.
As most can guess, cell phones, social media, co-workers and music can all be considered distractions, but even work itself can fall into that category. With emails, meetings and having to issue and give feedback to others, it can take attention away from the tasks originally at hand.
So, how to manage these distractions?
Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as it may seem. One of the speakers at the event, Brittany Marcelli, explained that checking email in-between tasks, looking at phones once every hour, separating yourself from the workspace if you need a moment alone, planning things out and most importantly, knowing yourself, can get the job done.
“Not everyone manages distractions the same,” Marcelli said. “Just kind of knowing your personality, that can actually go a long way. Do you need to make to-do lists? For me, I love making to-do lists and that becomes a distraction. So just knowing [and knowing what causes a distraction for you] is important.”
A group activity helped demonstrate how managing key things in life can be separated by managing it one thing at a time.
In the exercise, groups of four or five students received a bag full of ping-pong balls representing those key things. One person in the group was assigned to be the bag holder, while other were assigned to be real-life tasks. The bag holder would have to quickly hand out each ping-pong ball to the person that represented the letter on the ball.
The activity lasted about five or six rounds, and it was meant to show how all of these life tasks can become overwhelming if you don’t find a way to manage these tasks in a strategic way.
Students left the auditorium with a new idea of how to manage the growing number of distractions in the workplace.